Posts Tagged ‘benign enlargement of the prostate gland’

Don’t Fight the Nite With Prostate Enlargement

February 6, 2017

 

Nearly every man over the age of 50 experiences symptoms of prostate gland enlargement.  The symptoms are going to the bath room frequently, poor force of the urine stream, dribbling after urination and perhaps the most troublesome of all is getting up at night to urinate.  Every night, between 12 and 15 million men in the U.S. are likely to have loss of sleep because of an enlarged prostate gland.  This article will discuss the purpose of the prostate gland and what treatment options are available for this common condition.

The prostate gland is typically the size and shape of a walnut and is located in the lower part of the pelvis, below the bladder. It envelops the urethra, the tube through which urine flows from the bladder out of the body. When the prostate gland grows bigger – which happens to virtually every man as he ages – it can compress the urethra and make it difficult to pass urine.

Benign enlargement of the prostate gland does not cause prostate cancer or affect a man’s ability to have, but if the symptoms bother you, seek treatment. If left untreated, BPH can lead to urinary retention and cause bladder, urinary tract and kidney problems.

Coping Techniques.

Try behavioral changesPerhaps the easiest suggestion is limiting your fluid intake at night and not drinking anything for two hours before bedtime.  I also caution to decrease those foods and beverages that are diuretics (and will therefore prompt you to urinate more), such as coffee, caffeinated tea, herbal tea, lemon juice, chocolate, pineapple, grapes and cherries.

If those behavioral changes don’t help much, consider medication. A change in habits will help some but not all men with BPH, and for those whose symptoms aren’t relieved, medication is an option.  The most commonly used medications are alpha blockers, (Flomax) which can relax the muscle at the base of the bladder and the prostate, and 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, (Proscar) which can, over a period of months, shrink the prostate.  Like nearly all medications, they do have side effects.  For example, alpha blockers can cause the man taking them to faint and by decreasing his blood pressure when moving from laying down to standing upright quickly.  Alpha blockers also can cause sexual side effects like decreasing the volume of the ejaculate or having no ejaculation at all.  The 5 alpha reductase inhibitors can cause sexual dysfunction, such as impotence. Some physicians are also prescribing tadalafil, commonly known by its brand name Cialis, which is often marketed as a drug that treats erectile dysfunction, but can also help to relax the muscles in the prostate gland and thus relieve urinary symptoms.

If behavioral changes and medication don’t work or cease to be effective, surgical procedures are an option.  Until recently the two most common procedures are a transurethral resection or TURP, in which an instrument is inserted up the urethra to cut out the part of the prostate that’s blocking urine flow, and a laser procedure, which vaporizes the tissue obstructing the urethra. Both procedures are typically effective but carry the risk of side effects such as erectile dysfunction. Other, newer procedures, such as the UroLift System, in which a urologist places tiny implants in the prostate to increase the opening of the urethra and allow for greater urine flow.  This procedure can be accomplished in the outpatient or ambulatory treatment center or even in the doctor’s office.  The advantage of the UroLift is that there are no sexual side effects and the results are noted almost immediately after the procedure.

Bottom Line:  The enlarged prostate gland affects millions of American men.  It significantly impacts a man’s quality of life.  Help is available.  Speak to your doctor.

Bee Venom Takes the Sting Out of An Enlarged Prostate Gland

August 3, 2015

Around age 50 most men will develop a benign enlargement of the prostate gland that causes urinary symptoms such as getting up at night to urinate, dribbling after urination, frequency of urination, urgency of urination, and rarely urinary retention. About three of four men in their 60s have the condition, and it affects more than 90 percent of those over the age of 80. The cause is not known but may be a result of hormonal changes in middle aged men. The treatment consists of watchful waiting if the symptoms aren’t impacting a man’s quality of life, medication or minimally invasive surgery, such as microwave, lasers, and the new treatment, UroLift, which uses pins to open the obstructing prostate tissue. Now bee venom is being evaluated as a treatment option.

Bee venom has long been used in folk medicine to treat immune-related diseases, such as arthritis. In recent decades, researchers have been exploring its use in fighting many conditions, including cancer. Researchers in South Korea have found still another use for the venom: A study found that the venom from honey bees may be as effective in treating enlarged prostates as conventional drugs.

An animal study was conducted with rats. One group was treated with bee venom, and the second was treated with the drug finasteride (Proscar), which is commonly used to treat enlarged prostate. The third group got no additional treatment. A fourth group of uncastrated rats received placebo shots and served as a control.

Researchers found that the prostates of rats castrated and then given testosterone were significantly larger — 1.8 times — than the control rats. But the prostates of rats given either bee venom or finasteride were much smaller: When compared to control rats, the rats given bee venom were only 1.1 times larger, and those treated with finasteride were 1.3 times larger.

The research was published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine.

New Treatment For The Enlarged Prostate Gland-The UroLift

March 13, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – It’s a condition that men may not want to talk about, but it affects their sleep, their intimate relationships, and work.

But now there’s a new, simple fix for a common prostate condition.

Doug Depp is one of the millions of baby boomer men with a common health problem, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, called BPH.
“I was getting up 4, 5 times a night easy and feeling the discomforts of it. I couldn’t empty my bladder. I lost a lot of confidence in being able to go places, be comfortable,” said Depp, 68.

After the age of 50, the prostate gland, for some reason, grows. When it does, it squeezes down the size of the tube that urine flows through. It affects a man’s quality of life. But now there is a new procedure called UroLift System. It involves no cutting or heating away tissue in an O.R.

“I think this is a game changer, and the reason being is that often times men who have an enlarged prostate, are treated with medications. These medications affect their sex life,” explained Dr. Neil Baum, a urologist at Touro.

The UroLift has a pin on one side and a clip on the other. In less than an hour in the office or outpatient surgery, Dr. Baum inserts a few of the devices through the urethra. They permanently hold both sides of the enlarged prostate away from putting pressure on the urethra. Men can either be under mild IV sedation or a local anesthesia.

“This procedure, the UroLift, preserves sexual performance. The men have no problem with ejaculation. It doesn’t affect their erections and the beauty is when they have the procedure, they go out without a catheter most of the time, and they are able to urinate with improved stream immediately,” Dr. Baum explained.

Depp says there was not a lot of discomfort and a few days later he was 100 percent normal again.

“I used to always think of a place to go, you know, McDonald’s or some place you know, on the way, and you have to pick and choose but now it’s a lot more freedom not to worry about it,” laughs Depp.

The UroLift is FDA approved and most insurance companies pay for the procedure.

Prostate Gland Enlargement-A New Minimally Invasive FDA Approved Treatment

June 18, 2014

Most men experience benign enlargement of the prostate gland that causes symptoms of difficulty with urination, dribbling after urination and getting up multiple times at night to urinate. All of these symptoms can impact a man’s quality of life.
Enlargement of the prostate gland occurs naturally as men age. Unfortunately, this process can press on the urethra and result in some frustrating side effects including urination and bladder problems. The good news is that an enlarged prostate is benign (not cancerous) nor will it increase your risk of prostate cancer; for these reasons it is often referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy.

The exact cause of BPH is unknown; however, a common hypothesis points to changes in the balance of the sex hormones during the aging process. The testicles may also play an important role in prostate growth: for example, men who have had their testicles removed (i.e. as a result of testicular cancer) do not develop BPH. Furthermore, men who have their testicles removed after having developed BPH will experience a decrease in prostate size.
Medications

Prescription drugs are typically the first line of treatment for BPH. Alpha blockers are typically associated with high blood pressure, but in the case of BPH, act by relaxing the muscles in both the bladder neck and prostate, resulting in effortless urination. The effects of alpha blockers are typically seen very quickly (in about a day or two). Some well-known examples are drugs like Rapaflo or Flomax.

Another set of medications, 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, reduce the size of the prostate, thus reducing the pressure on the urethra. Examples of these are Avodart or Proscar. Often, improvements are not seen for a couple of weeks or even months. Common side effects include decreased sex drive and erectile dysfuction. Combination therapy of alpha blockers and 5 alpha reductase inhibitors can be more effective than either drug alone. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat prostatitis (prostate inflammation) which can accompany BPH.

Minimally Invasive Procedures
GreenLight Laser uses a high-powered laser combined with fiber optics to vaporize the overgrowth of prostate cells quickly and accurately. The heat of the laser also cauterizes blood vessels, resulting in minimal bleeding. It is an out-patient procedure that involves catheterization for about two days. Stents can be placed in the urethra to help keep it open and allow urine to flow easier. These stents must be replaced every four to six weeks, and as such, are not considered a long term treatment option.

Now a new treatment, the Urolift, has been approved by the FDA and is a minimally invasive treatment that can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic with immediate results after a 20-30 minute procedure. The procedure consists of inserting two to four implants that opens the urethra directly by retracting the obstructing prostatic lobes without cutting, heating, or removing prostate tissue. The implants pushes aside the obstructive prostate lobes like opening window curtains. Small permanent UroLift implants are deployed, holding the lobes in the retracted position, and thus opening the urethra while leaving the prostate intact. Patients report marked improvement in symptoms immediately after the procedure. There is no problems with erections after the procedure.

Prostate, shown in yellow, with blockage of the urethra

Prostate, shown in yellow, with blockage of the urethra


4 pins in the prostate open the gland and allow improvement in urinary symptoms

4 pins in the prostate open the gland and allow improvement in urinary symptoms

Surgical Procedures
If medications are not effective, or if your prostate is too large, surgical intervention may be necessary. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), or the modified Button TURP, involves the removal of portions of prostate which block urine flow. Hospital stay is typically one day with a two-day catheterization. Reserved for those with unbearable BPH symptoms and extremely large prostates, prostatectomy is the complete removal of the prostate gland. It is more invasive than either TURP or GreenLight Laser, and usually has a higher risk of complications and side effects and requires a longer catheterization. For these reasons, prostatectomies are typically not recommended for those with BPH, but rather the go to surgical intervention for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Bottom Line: Prostate enlargement affects nearly 14 million American men mostly after age 50. There are many treatment options available for BPH: medications, minimally-invasive procedures and surgery. Which treatment option is best for you depends on your overall treatment goals, the size of your prostate, your symptoms, your age, and your overall health. Make sure you speak with your doctor about the different treatment options; your doctor will recommend treatments based on your symptoms and treatment goals.

Men, Having Trouble Urinating? A Pin In the Prostate May Cure Your Problem

September 29, 2013

Men with enlarged prostate glands have symptoms of going to the bathroom frequently, dribbling after urination, and getting up at night to go to the bathroom.  The problem is usually caused by a benign enlargement of the prostate gland, which blocks the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. 

Prostate, shown in yellow, with blockage of the urethra

Prostate, shown in yellow, with blockage of the urethra


The cause of the benign enlargement is not known but is probably related to alternations in the hormones, testosterone, of middle aged and older men.  Treatment usually consists of medications, alpha blockers and medications to actually relax the muscles in the prostate gland but these are often ineffective especially if used for long period of time.  The other options include minimally invasive procedures such as microwaves that can actually shrink the prostate gland.  Now there’s a new treatment option that will soon be available. 

The UroLift system, made by NeoTract Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., is the first permanent implant to relieve low or blocked urine flow in men age 50 and older with an enlarged prostate.

By pulling back prostate tissue that presses on the urethra, the system allows more natural urine flow.  

4 pins in the prostate open the gland and allow improvement in urinary symptoms

4 pins in the prostate open the gland and allow improvement in urinary symptoms


The procedure can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthesia and will actually open up the urethra to allow the flow of urine and reduce the urinary symptoms of frequency of urination, improve the force and caliber of the urine stream, and decrease the number of times a man needs to get up at night to empty his bladder.

Of course with any procedure there may be side effects and complications.  Some patients reported pain or burning during urination, increased urgency, decreased urine flow, incomplete bladder emptying, and blood in the urine.  Most of these symptoms and side effects were temporary and resolved a few days or weeks after the Urolift was performed.

 

Bottom Line:  Millions of American men suffer from symptoms as a result of an enlarged prostate gland.  Certainly medications are a first line treatment option.  However, the Urolift may be a permanent solution to this common problem and help men get a good night’s sleep!

11 Suggestions For Decreasing Prostate Symptoms

May 11, 2010

The prostate gland is walnut sized organ at the base of the bladder.  In order men the gland increases in size and causes symptoms such as going to the bathroom frequently, dribbling after urination, and getting up at night to urinate.  Here are a 11 suggestions that you might consider to relieve those symptoms.

1.  Don’t drink anything several hours before you go to sleep.

2.  Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea as the caffeine acts as a diuretic

3.  Limit your alcohol consumption especially at the dinner meal.

4.  Avoid spicy foods.

5.  Take medications such as your diuretics or water pills early in the day when going to the bathroom to urinate is not such an inconvenience.

6.  Avoid antihistamines and decongestants

7.  Don’t hold off going to the restroom

8.  Use the clock to help with urination. Make an effort to urinate every 3-4 hours.  Putting your bladder on a schedule is very helpful and a good habit to have.

9. Go and then go again. Stand at the toilet and empty your bladder, walk away from the toilet for a minute or two and then return and try emptying the bladder again.

10. Avoid cold seats such as at football games in the winter.

11. If you bike ride, especially for long distances, stand on the pedals every 10 or 15 minutes to take the pressure off of your prostate gland.

Bottom Line: These steps won’t cure the enlarged prostate but they will lessen the symptoms.  If your symptoms persist, consider a visit to your urologist